Thousands of Hutchinson County residents turned out to vote in their parties’ primary elections Tuesday. Voter turnout for all of Hutchinson County was about 20% of all eligible voters, including 2,384 Republican party ballots and 148 Democratic party ballots.
Borger News-Herald contributor Cleo Morrison (Genealogy is Fun!) told the reporters that she considered the most important votes to be those that guide the party. “We have a good opportunity here,” she said, “to voice our opinions.”
Morrison refers to several survey style questions at the end of each ballot; propositions which require passage by the constituents.
Both parties approved their respective propositions with wide margins.
Those propositions by the Republican party include:
1. The Religious Freedom Question: Texans should be free to express their religious beliefs, including prayer, in public places.
2: The Second Amendment Question: Texas should support Second Amendment liberties by expanding locations where concealed handgun license-holders may legally carry.
3: The Franchise Tax Question: Texas should abolish the state franchise tax, also known as the margins tax, to encourage business growth.
4: The Welfare Reform Question: Texas recipients of taxpayer-funded public assistance should be subject to random drug testing as a condition of receiving benefits.
5: The Lawmaker Exceptions Question: All elected officials and their staff should be subject to the same laws, rules, regulations and ordinances as their constituents.
6: The Affordable Healthcare Act Question: The Affordable Care Act, also know as “Obamacare,” should be repealed.
Democratic primary resolutions included:
1: The Immigration Reform Question. The United States Congress must pass immigration reform; including an earned path to citizenship for those individuals contributing to the economy and the dependents of those individuals.
2: The Living Wage Quesiton: Congress should pass legislation raising the federal minimum wage to at least 110 percent of the federal poverty level for a family of four without exception.
3: The Medicaid Expansion Question: The Governor and the Texas Legislature should accept federal funds; as provided in the Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act of 2010; for the expansion of Medicaid to provide coverage to millions of uninsured and underinsured Texans.
4: The Nondiscrimination Legislation Question: The Congress and the Texas Legislature should adopt legislation that expands protections against discriminations in employment; housing; and public accommodations based upon sexual orientation and gender identity.
In notable races relevant to Hutchinson County voters, incumbent representatives retained their seats. District 31 State Senator Kel Seliger defeated his opponent Mike Cannon with 55% of the vote.
US Representative Mac Thornberry won a decisive victory over challengers Elaine Hays and Pam Barlow, gathering over 60% of the total vote for himself.
John Cornyn defeated Steve Stockman, Ken Cope, and several other challengers with a powerful majority, taking around 60% of the vote even with seven opponents.
Four Price ran uncontested for District 81 State Representative.
Greg Abbott pulled 90% of the Republican primary vote to secure the nomination for Texas Governor; Democrat Wendy Davis took less than 80% in her race. Davis won the nomination, but did not match Abbott’s decisive margin.
Hutchinson County’s races were largely uncontested, with only one Republican seat, County Commissioner Pct. 2, being challenged. Jerry D. Hefner won that nomination with 52% of the vote against Gary Keith Middaugh.
Republican primary results for uncontested Hutchinson County seats are:
District Judge 316th District - James Mosley
County Judge - Faye Blanks
District Clerk - Robin Stroud
County Clerk - Jan Barnes
County Treasurer - Kathy Sargent
County Commissioner Pct. 4 - Eddie Whittington
Justice of the Peace Pct 1 - Shila Hart
Justice of the Peace Pct 2 - Cindy Irwin
County Chairman - Mary Kay Phelan